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Walkin' vs. ridin'

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  • Walkin' vs. ridin'

    Hello fellow active MSer's. I rode the MS 150 from Frisco to Fort Worth Texas. Did 156 miles of the 164. Lost 12 pounds - felt GREAT!

    There is a MS walk in Austin on October 24 and I thought "Heck, I can walk a mile". Bought a fancy pedometer and went out and found a really nice park with a large pond that was a little shy of a mile (.84 miles to be exact).

    WEEEEEELLLLLLL not so fast. I honestly could barely make the last .10 of a mile. It was up a slight hill and I was just stumbling along. If there was a bench I would have sat down or laid down for that matter.

    I know with riding my bike, I got stronger but i feel this might be different.

    I was near tears. It was just one of those moments, one of those rare moments now that I felt like I was getting worse. I'm a positive person, I have a great attitude but this took me down.

    I was thinking of what I could do. I've read a lot lately on diet. A lot of the benefits of a vegan diet or a more plant based diet. Problem is - I really enjoy meat.

    Does anyone out there have a success story to share about when you first started being active and how slow you were and now you're a little faster, a little stronger? Small victories that only you and I would understand? I was telling my husband about my struggle and he didn't understand. He tries but it's hard to explain. It's just one foot in front of the other but it might as well be a marathon.

    Diet, exercise, what works for you?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Hi Jenn

    Its funny but something similar happened to me, except the other way.

    I had been walking 1-3 miles a day for a few months and decided I wanted to try biking too. Well I got on my bike and barely made it 2 miles (which is not too long a bike!). I got really discouraged as well, but it has gotten better over time.... its been a few months and I was able to ride about 17 miles not too long ago. Thats nothing compared to the 150 of course...but before I got MS I was an inactive, overweight biking for that long seems like a miracle to me

    I found I was needing different stretching and strengthening with walking vs. running. I also think the balance is different.

    Best of luck....take some time to feel sorry for yourself, but not too much!!


    • #3
      Glad I saw this thread because a similar experience is happening to me.

      I just came from New York where you do walk alot on crowded streets and I found my walking awkward at best.

      I find I can walk short distances smoothly but more than that and I feel like I'm staggering at times.

      When I ride, there's no problem and it seems that after I ride, I can walk a lot smoother.

      I'm wondering if cycling loosens the muscles you need for walking or maybe I just get stressed out in crowded situations now.

      I did notice though that my walking was best when the streets weren't crowded and I didn't have to worry about sprinting across the street before the light changed.

      I do think that some stretches before walking will help and in my case, an ipod with music to relax me.

      I don't see the above as a step back though. It's just another wrinkle that needs to be ironed out.


      • #4
        Great responses, thanks so much.

        Me and hubby went out for another walk last night and I was quite wobbley but better I think. Small victories.

        Marinadca, I've never felt stronger than after riding my bike. I haven't been on it in months, however, the summer heat is just too much. This year was the first year I really was affected by the heat.

        Lucia, I like that alot "just another wrinkle that needs to be ironed out". No need to over think this just get out and go.

        I registered for the MS150 again for 2011 so we'll see.

        Have a great day,


        • #5
          Walkin' vs. Ridin'

          Hey Jenn,

          Glad to see you're out there walkin', although not surprised. You do have a great attitude and great spirit.

          We certainly have that whole walkin' vs. ridin' issue in common. I don't know what it is about walking that is so much harder either but I do know this. I waited way too long to take care of the "MS Gait" to the extent that I added substantial damage to knees that had already seen a lot of wear and tear (literally). Although I don't normally need a cane to walk, the solution was as simple as using a cane to STABILIZE my walk, especially on those longer walks, like around Costco. I still kinda’ look like a drunken sailor but my knees don’t take nearly as much abuse with the cane.

          My DW is a big walker and just as recently as a couple of weeks ago I told her I wanted to try walking with her. So, I went to my local PT and explained the situation. She lined me up with an orthopedic device specialist and now I have a new ankle/foot brace (at least it's supposed to be in the mail). It seemed to make a big difference when I tried it in the office so I can't wait to get it and give it a real spin. Wish me luck!

          On that whole "feeling good after a ride" thing, that one has puzzled me for years but I think I'm slowly getting a handle on it. According to some of the physiological stuff I've found, at least a couple of things that happen to people who do endurance exercise, could help with the MS. One is that the body produces it's own anti-inflammatory agents. I think these are corticosteroids. Ah, steroids that you don’t even have to go to the hospital to get, and they're free.

          Another one is that intensive endurance work depresses the immune system (ever wonder why you tend to get sick right before or after that big ride?). WOW, some of us spend tens of thousands of dollars on pharmaceuticals to do that!

          A third one, that may or may not help the MS but sure does promote a sense of wellbeing, are the endorphins the body produces to relieve the pain the exercise causes (especially in us MSers). Endorphins act like opiates on the nervous system. Built in pain relief! How utterly amazing! Ever hear the term “endorphin junky”? Anyway, just some thoughts.

          You’re already registered for the MS 150, gees, Colorado MS doesn’t even have the web site up yet!

          Take care Jenn,



          • #6
            AMF - great thoughts, thanks so much. Yes, I completely understand the drunken sailor look as I sport it often. After the ride in May, it got really hot, really fast and I was thinking about doing a round of steriods just to get the feeling back in my feet. But I'm not sure now since we've had a cold snap and I'm feeling better.

            The Lone Star Chapter opened up registration in conjuction with the awards dinner tonight for the 2010 ride. It's $15 for today only so heck, I signed up.

            I go back and read your stories often, they just make me feel optimistic so thank you for them!

            Have a wonderful day!


            • #7
              OHHH. Good luck with the foot brace and let us know how well it works.


              • #8
                My biggest problem with this disease is walking! I went from walking all over town with no problem to walking with the arm cuff crutches and wearing AFOs (ankle foot braces) on both feet. I still walk as much as I can. Just this past weekend I did a mile with my SO and our 2 1/2 yr old daughter. They were running and climbing curbs and I was lagging behind trying to navigate said curbs with the crutches and fast weakening legs.
                I've found that the only way I'm able to keep going is chant "just keep walking walking, just keep walking walking!" and taking a break if I need to, the crutches are good to lean on and take that breather!
                Take it slow and make sure you have something/someone to grab if you do feel yourself going down. Or use a walking stick/trekking poles if you plan on a long walk


                • #9
                  TA-DA. We made around for a mile. Great walk, beautiful weather. But by the end, the whole drunken sailor thing popped up. So glad to have my hubby to grab onto.

                  How do you post pictures?



                  • #10
                    WTG!!! You made it!!


                    • #11
                      Well Done

                      Well done Jenn, congratulations on making the walk. Doing that in Austin must have been pretty nice!

                      I did get my foot brace. I can definately walk better with it but I wouldn't say I can walk further yet.


                      ps: posting pictures ... down at the bottom of the reply page there is a manage attachments tab. The web site seems to take care of all of the restrictions.


                      • #12
                        It was a good day. I'm still taken with my pedometer and wear it every day. I'm glad when I can get in around 7,000 steps but most work days, I only get in around 3,000.

                        I had to wear my MS 150 shirt, just because.

                        AMF, it sounds like the brace is working for you. I would be interested in hearing the pro's and con's after you've had it awhile. Will it accompany you on the bike?

                        Have a great day!

                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          Yeah Jenn!

                          Hi Jenn,
                          Sorry you are struggling with the walking. A mile is great. It is farther than most folks without MS can walk. I had some balance issues and used walking poles a few years ago. I did get some smart comments about no snow, but I really like walking with poles. They provide confidence, stability and assistance. It does take a bit of practice to become coordinated, but after that, I could walk pretty fast.
                          I am far stronger on the bike. I am riding my trainer in the basement awaiting warmer weather.
                          Our MS 150 kickoff is this Saturday here in Kentucky.


                          • #14
                            I have a friend who uses walking poles and she LOVES them and she doesn't have MS. maybe I'll invest in a pair, thanks for the suggestion.

                            Anything I can do to remain active is worth a try. I'm looking forward to getting back on my bike when the weather gets a little warmer.

                            Take care